Home Africa It is important that US does more with India, says former PACOM Commander

It is important that US does more with India, says former PACOM Commander

by flimflex100

WASHINGTON: The US must do more with India and send an envoy to New Delhi soon, a retired top American admiral and commander has told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on the Chinese threat to America’s national security.
There has been no US Ambassador to India for more than two years now, the longest period of absence of an American envoy in New Delhi. The Senate is yet to confirm the Biden administration’s nomination of Eric Garcetti, the former Los Angeles Mayor as the US Ambassador to India.
“It is important that we do more with India. It’s important that we get an ambassador there so that a Senate-confirmed ambassador representing the president would be in place. But we haven’t had one now for over two years,” Admiral (rtd) Harry Harris, who headed US Indo-Pacific Command for three years, told members of the House Armed Services Committee during the hearing on the Chinese threats to US National Defence.
In July 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Garcetti, 52, as his Ambassador to India.
His nomination was initially blocked by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley because of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by one of his senior staffers. Though the hold on his nomination was lifted, he could not be confirmed by the last Congress.
President Biden in January renominated Garcetti as his envoy to India.
“I’m glad that our relationship with India is improving or improving,” Admiral Harris said.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Congressman Mike Rogers said China is the most challenging national security threat America has faced in 30 years.
“If we fail to acknowledge that and take immediate action to deter it, the next 30 years could be devastating for our nation,” he said.
The hearing came days after the US military shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon floating over sensitive installations in the country.
In recent years, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has used its military to push out its borders to threaten US allies in the region and to gain footholds on new continents. In violation of international law, the CCP has built new and commandeered existing islands in the South China Sea where it has deployed stealth fighters, bombers, and missiles, he said.
“It continues to intimidate and coerce Taiwan, most recently by surrounding the island with naval forces and launching endless fighter sorties across its centre line. In recent years, the CCP has also established a space tracking facility in South America to monitor US satellites as well as an overseas naval base miles away from our own on the strategically vital Horn of Africa,” Rogers said.
Responding to a question from Congressman Rich McCormick, Admiral Harris said the relationship between India and the US has improved a lot. The two countries have now signed foundational agreements.
“We are now selling a lot more military hardware to India. They have the largest C-17 fleet outside of the United States, for example. All of that is good. I think that there is great promise and great potential in working with a country of 1.35 billion, which is now the world’s most populous country,” he said.
“I couldn’t agree with you more. I think that’s something we need to focus on. And likewise, do we have the industrial ability to ramp up supply, for example, Australia and India and other allies with the necessary equipment to fight the next war? Because right now, I feel like especially on our shipbuilding capacity we are severely lacking,” McCormick said.

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